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Mary (Moore) Barr

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October 2, 1932 - October 29, 2021

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“I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful Mother Pauline. She was a lovely lady. My Mom loved working with her. My heart breaks for you all....Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Jeannie Anoli - Waltham, MA

“I was so sorry to hear of Mary's passing. She was such a sweet lady. I loved the fun conversations we had when we'd see each other at the park.Mary4 ”
2 of 3 | Posted by: Mary Callahan - Waltham, MA

“What a lovely tribute to well-lived life.Heartfelt condolences ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: Sara Keylor - SAGAMORE BEACH, MA


Mary (Moore) Barr was the embodiment of an Irish Mother, enjoyed caring for others, worried if everyone is ok, often asking if you had enough to eat. She was the humble type, with a good mix of quick wit and Irish guilt thrown in.

Mary was born Oct 2, 1932 and grew up in North Brighton, she was the 2nd child of 6 to Agnes and James Moore. Her sister Pat recalls a beautiful sister that was carefree, had lots of friends, kind hearted. Her only fault, she didn't know how to say no, just an all-around nice person.

She married Charlie Barr (a handsome Italian boy from the neighborhood} in 1956 and had 7 children in a span of 8 years. They settled in Waltham in 1964. She was a caring, devoted mother, getting up before her kids to prepare breakfast and pack lunches for the day. We always came home to a full home cooked meal, clean laundry and she made sure we were taking care of – Mary was selfless. Her children have fond memories of family excursions in the station wagon - New Hampshire, the Cape, museums, apple picking, Lake Walden, Pleasure Island, Enchanted Village in Boston. Trips were always accompanied with a packed Styrofoam cooler by Mary, often ham and cheese sandwiches, perfectly wrapped in wax paper with hard boiled eggs and cookies. Hard to imagine being so prepared with that many kids. She made motherhood look easy. Mary's desire in life was to give her children everything they needed, to have a wonderful childhood.

Always a hard worker, Mary started her work career at 16 at Hood Rubber to help support her family. She had such strong work ethics we can remember how proud she was later in life when she won an award for not taking any sick days off! And once her kids were all of school age, she went to work for Arkwright Insurance. If you asked Mary her fondest memories it was her time working at Arkwright. Walking to work every morning at 6am, she loved preparing breakfast and lunch for the people who worked in the building. She was very friendly and well liked. While still caring for her large family, she was determined to get her high school diploma which she achieved in early 1981.

Later, she took college classes and eventually got promoted to a Manager position. She retired after 28 years and stayed friends with her coworkers, they became family to her. One of our amazing Arkwright memories, Mary would walk over to another building to deliver the large wad of cash from the day's success, with never a worry, every penny accounted for. We don't know how Mary did it, coming home after working in the Cafeteria and then manage to feed and care for her huge family. We are still in awe of it.

Even though Mary was very busy with raising 7 children, she somehow found time to teach Catechism, was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader. She would be a great help with school art projects because she was a very talented self-taught artist. Mary was always up for an adventure -Disney with the family, mall shopping, musuems, craftshows, exploring Boston, taking classes, spending time with her Grandchildren, traveling, loved old movies, was an avid reader and was hooked on PBS and cooking shows. With her artistic talents, she would draw, paint, sew and knit amazing works of art. She watched Chronicle every night and she didnt make a big deal of it when she showed up in a featured segment about the Waltham Pain Clinic, but we did. She took exercise classes there and they all adored her. She was the oldest one in the class and one said she did better than people half her age.

Mary loved a good gathering. When family would come together, long after the food was eaten and Charlie would retire to watch the news, she would stay right in the mix. She especially enjoyed when the sarcastic humor would fly.

Growing up, many of our holidays were spent with her sister's Pat, Margie and cousin Mary. Such fond memories of a household packed with cousins, lots of running around, tons of food, sitting around the table, young and old just relishing the time together.

Mary and Charlie loved nothing more than to spend time with their Grandchildren, taking them on many local adventures, mostly educational. They all have special memories of Prince and Princess day, where they would get to go to the mall and pick out anything they wanted followed by dinner of their choice. If you wanted to see Mary light up like a Christmas tree, bring a baby around, especially her newest Great-grandson, Leo.

Mary was a self-taught fabulous cook, everything from scratch. People still talk about her eggplant, Sunday Roast beef dinners (oh those crunchy yet soft roast potatoes!) and her fabulous coleslaw. She had that knack of opening the fridge and creating something with whatever she found. Her daughters have sweet memories of cooking together with their mom, she was happy to share her culinary skills.

If Mary was feeling down, one of her kids had a magical way to help and was often called in to "get her Irish up". He would poke and prod, trade back and forth verbal jabs, find out what's bothering her and before you know it, she would be smiling.

In their 70s, a week didn't go by where Mary and Charlie were off to Boston, often with Grandkids in tow. Castle Island followed by a Sullivan's hotdog was their go to. More than anything Mary loved to walk and did the walk for hunger 3 times, once all by herself!

In her 80s, the Waltham Senior Center became her favorite hangout. Hanging with her cousin Mary Farren, they made good friendships and together enjoyed movies, concerts, luncheons, exercise classes, knitting. The staff always made them feel welcome and special.

Growing up in the Barr household, it

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